Thomas Cook seeks to expand own-brand hotel options with LEMY deal

Thomas Cook seeks to expand own-brand hotel options with LEMY deal

Thomas Cook has entered into a strategic partnership with LMEY Investments, a Swiss-based hotel property development company, to develop and grow Thomas Cook’s own-brand hotel portfolio.

As part of the new partnership, Thomas Cook has acquired from LMEY a 42 per cent stake in Aldiana, a premium club and activity-focused tour operator and hotel management company based in Germany.

Aldiana currently operates eight club resorts located in Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia and Austria, with plans to open another four resorts over the next two years.

Following the acquisition, Aldiana will sit alongside Thomas Cook’s six existing proprietary hotel brands, bolstering Thomas Cook’s own-brand hotel portfolio with a popular club offering and broadening its reach to new customers.

In addition, Thomas Cook and LMEY have entered into an agreement to work together to create a joint hotel investment platform, in order to accelerate the growth of Thomas Cook’s own-brand hotels portfolio.

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The partners intend to establish the platform by contributing a minimum of five owned and directly-managed hotel properties between them.

These seed assets, with a combined value of around £150 million, will be used to develop the platform into a fund focused on acquiring a pipeline of further hotel and resort assets across Thomas Cook’s destination markets.

Thomas Cook chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, said: “The development of a strong portfolio of own-brand hotels is absolutely key to our success, allowing us to provide customers with a consistent and high-quality holiday, whatever their needs.

“Our new strategic partnership with LMEY, with its proven track record of identifying and redeveloping highly successful properties in sun and beach locations, gives us the perfect launch pad to accelerate this critical part of our strategy.”

Trading Update

Also today, Thomas Cook said summer 2017 was closing out as expected in a trading update, with the full year underlying EBIT outlook therefore unchanged.

Fankhauser added: “Thomas Cook has enjoyed a good summer.

“Customers from across our markets have shown a strong appetite for our holidays, picking a wide range of destinations in their search for the sun, with Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus proving particularly popular.

“Demand for Turkey and Egypt has also picked up as customers look for quality and value.

“Meanwhile, bookings to Spain, our biggest destination overall, remain level with last year as we continue to manage through what has proven to be a very competitive trading environment, particularly for the UK.”

The group will announce its full year results to September 30th on November 22nd.

Chief Financial Officer

On a busy day for the company, Thomas Cook also revealed group chief financial officer Michael Healy has decided to retire.

The board has appointed Bill Scott, currently director of financial reporting at the company, as his successor.

Over the next three months, Healy will lead a detailed handover to Scott, who will assume the role and be appointed as an executive director on the board on January 1st.